Oral History Project

We launched the BMW CCA history project last month with the goal to collect stories and memories from Club members. Member stories will be published next year in a dedicated book and shared digitally in a living archive.

The good news is we’ve had more than a thousand club members reach out to our publishing partner (PCI) to share their memories, stories, and reflections on the friendships, fun and experiences they’ve had through BMW CCA. Unfortunately, not all of the news is good. While some of our members report having had a lot of fun sharing their memories, others have had a less rewarding experience with our publishing partner. Thats just not good for the Club and not good enough for you. If you have a desire to participate – and we hope you do – here are a few things we want to make sure you know so that your experience is the very best that it can be.

  1. There is a full FAQ about the project on our website. We encourage you to review this page before participating.  https://www.bmwcca.org/content/oral-history-project-announcement If you have questions after reviewing, please do not hesitate to contact the national office staff for answers to your questions and concerns.
  2. Why is BMW CCA conducting this Oral History Project? Simply put because it is important to us. Throughout the course of our 50+ year existence the club has not had the resources to capture the history of the club in a written and digital format. We are sadly losing far too many of our living members, especially especially amongst the ranks of our founding members. We think it is important to preserve our past and take the time now to capture our history. We should never allow round taillights vs. square taillights to simply become t-shirt monikers.
  3. Is this just a way an advertising ploy for BMW? No. This project is about you and your historical involvement in the club.
  4. Why is a third party conducting these interviews? The simple answer is that the club staff is neither equipped or large enough to handle the scope and size of the project.
  5. Are my dues covering the cost of this project? How much is it costing the club to contract PCI to conduct the interviews and assemble the end product? No, your dues are not being spent on this project. BMW CCA is not paying PCI to conduct the interviews and assemble our history. All costs associated with the project are being borne by PCI through the sale of the published book and associated merchandise.
  6. Who or what is PCI and why were they chosen for this project? PCI (Publishing Concepts) was given the opportunity to conduct this program because – one, they approached us with the concept and two, because we have worked with them previously. Some of you may recall and even participated in the Directory Project we did around 2010 or so. PCI handled that project from start to finish. They did so reliably, professionally, and most importantly they treated members information respectfully, with discretion and without privacy exposure. It is very possible that PCI may be familiar to you from your college/university alumni associations and/or your fraternity/sorority or other professional associations. They handle similar projects for these organizations. PCI has collected over 200,000 stories from over 100 organizations. This type of history project is their area of expertise.
  7. It is free to participate in the BMW CCA Oral History Project. Whatever memories and stories you share will be recorded digitally. The recording of our oral histories will live forever in the Library of Congress. However, if you wish to have a printed volume(s) of your memories and those of your fellow club members you will be given the opportunity to purchase a printed volume. PLEASE NOTE: YOU DO NOT NEED TO MAKE A PURCHASE TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS PROGRAM. YOU WILL BE ASKED TO MAKE A PURCHASE, BUT YOU ARE UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO DO SO. Should you decide to make a purchase here are your options:
    • Option 1: Loyalty - Full package with book and merchandise (shirt, travel bag, hat) = $399.98
    • Option 2: Pride - Second tier minus the branded travel bag = $299.98
    • Option 3: Book - Third tier for just the book = $159.98
  8. Why would I want to purchase a printed volume? Some of us are more sentimental than others. Some of us like paper vs electrons. Some of us just like to collect unique and special things. Whether you decide to purchase or not – it is solely your decision.
  9. Will I be tele-marketed for this project? Absolutely not. The decision to participate is solely yours as is the decision to initiate that participation. You will receive email reminders from us and a few postcard reminders. If you wish to opt out of those notices just let us know by clicking here. Once you log in you will be removed from communication for this project.
  10. I read online this is a scam. Plain and simple – it is not a scam, and your Club would never engage in such behavior. That said, we have read a lot of the same comments you have. In some instances, members did have a negative experience with their PCI phone associate. That is not acceptable, and we are working diligently with PCI to rectify those issues. Rectification can include better education for the phone associate, and/or removal of the associate from our program. Additionally, this and future communications from us are meant to better inform our members so they go into the process fully apprised and with managed expectations.
  11. Will the phone associate help guide me through the process? How so? Yes. From start to finish you should expect to be greeted by your phone associate and to have your contact information verified. Next to assist you in the story telling process, the agent has a set of sample questions to ask you. However, if you prefer, let your phone associate know that you prefer to tell your personal story in your way. To help you along, you may wish to write your story and then just read it into the record. Remember this is about you and your club experience.
  12. When the project is complete how will I access the digital version of our oral history? Once the project is competed in late 2022 purchasing members will receive an e mail from PCI allowing them to set up an account and password thereby allowing them to view their stories and photos and those of other members. The club will also have full access and will publish select memories for all to enjoy.
  13. What should I do if I make the call and at the end, I feel uncomfortable about how I was treated and/or the conduct of my phone associate? Reach out to our Executive Director Frank Patek. We recommend email as he will need to know your name, member # and chapter. Include that information in an email and he will request a copy of your taped conversation, and in conjunction with PCI, work to resolve the issue (fpatek@bmwcca.org). If you prefer phone contact, please call Frank at the national office (864-250-0022). Frank says the best part of his job is speaking with our members and getting to know them better- and he means it!

We are confident this project will capture our Club’s history and result in a shared celebratory record from members over the decades.

Thank you from your BMW CCA family